Social Media CRM
A Guest Post by Jacob Morgan
Nowadays we are really starting to realize and see how social media can be integrated into various business processes and departments. One of the areas that is of greatest interest is sales. In this post I wanted to address a few ways that social media can help with the sales.
Social Media CRM
Social media doesn’t need to replace your current sales process, in fact, it shouldn’t. However, what social media can do is ENHANCE your sales process. Two of the most powerful social media CRM tools in my opinion are Facebook and Linkedin. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why:
- Instead of making a cold sales call you can use Facebook or Linkedin to get some personal background information about the person you are calling i.e what their interests are, what’s going on in their life, who you BOTH know, where they are working, etc.
- Not only can you use Facebook and Linkedin to connect with a person directly but you can also get in touch with THEIR friends and THEIR connections. This turns your small network into an extremely vast one.
- On Linkedin you can see exactly what companies you are connected with and who you are connected with at any particular company. I don’t need to explain why this is valuable…do I?
The traditional process for selling usually involves a severing of the relationship ones the prospect declines (or perhaps accepts an offer). Sure the prospect goes back into the “prospect” bucket for a follow up call in several months but that really doesn’t mean anything. With social media you can keep the relationship and the dialogue going with that person and when they are ready to make a purchase you will know about it. How do you keep the relationship going? Here are a few ideas:
- Comment on things they share
- Share things with them that you find interesting or can help you build credibility
- Send messages on special days i.e. holidays, birthdays, etc.
- Check out their events to see when/how you might be able to meet
Building Trust and Authority
This is a big one; before I get into explaining this let me first say building trust and authority also takes the most amount of time. A lot of companies don’t understand what building trust and authority really entails and they are under the guise that this can be done in just a few months, not so. I would say give yourself AT LEAST one year before you start to see yourself or your brand START to get recognized as a trusted authority.
Ultimately the best way to begin to build trust and authority is by creating content that demonstrates your knowledge and/or expertise in a particular area. If you’re a master carpet weaver then you need to be out there creating content that shows you are a master carpet weaver (talk about different kinds of carpet, how to get started with weaving, where to buy the best carpets, etc). How does this help with sales? Well, the next time someone ends up looking for a carpet, guess who they are going to come to? Building a relationship with someone is great, but building a relationship with someone where you are considered a trusted authority is better.
What else would you add to this? How has social media helped or enhanced your sales process?
Jacob Morgan is a social media consultant and the principal at Mighty Mouth Media, a social media consultancy. Jacob is also the author of the soon to be released Twittfaced, a book on social media 101 for business. You can find Jacob on twitter or on his social media blog.
Look for more Jacob Morgan posts in the future. Thanks Jacob!
–ME “Liz” Strauss